The History of Bipolar Disorder, Essay Sample

Published: 2022-04-27 05:36:35
The History of Bipolar Disorder, Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Literature review
Categories: Bipolar disorder
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1837 words
16 min read

The world continues to experience the emergence of different diseases that continue to claim many lives. Even though some of these diseases are new to the humans, some of them may have existed a long time before most of the current generation was born. Bipolar disorder is one of the diseases that can be related to the old ages. It is, therefore, one of the oldest diseases that have been experienced over the past generations. Bipolar disorder, as a mental disease, is believed to have emerged during the prescientific ages, but in different forms. As will be discussed in this paper, mental challenges existed many years ago, and the bipolar disorder that people experience today is a condition that has just evolved and is now referred to with a new terminology. This paper aims at examining the historical development of bipolar disease, the current development and the future aspects of the disease.

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History of Bipolar Disease

Bipolar disease can be explained to have started thousands of years back, but it existed in a different way. Bipolar disorder has been defined differently; some people define it in terms of biological problems while others look at from the psychological perspective. Milklowitz and Alloy (1999) argue that Bipolar disorder has been understood as a biologically based disease in which it can be treated through the pharmacotherapy approach. Walsh et al. (2015) however, seem to argue that bipolar disorder is a psychological disorder that can be treated effectively through the psychotherapy approach. Most of scholars have contributed to the psychological perspective of bipolar disorder because it is associated with the mental or insanity problems like depression. Historically, bipolar disorder can be associated with a Greek word "ania" to mean being in a state of mental anguish. Stone (1937) explains the historical development of mental disorders arguing that early records indicate that mental diseases can be traced back to the days of civilization. Stone highlights some of the key civilization periods or people that studied mental disorders; for instance, the Egyptians, Hebrew and the Greeks (p. 132). Marneros et al. (2003) also explain that the idea of mental disorder can be traced back at least in the second century AD.

The early descriptions of mental disorders referred to the condition as "mania," a mental anguish that was caused by "melancholia." The term melancholia evolved to become what people presently refers to "depression" (Stone, 1937). The origin of bipolar disorder as a mental disorder can also be traced back to the prescientific periods. Youssef et al. (2015) argue that early medicine scholars in 1020s described bipolar disorder as a manic depressive mental disease which was different from madness. Unlike the Greek, Persian philosophers tried to differentiate bipolar disorder from other mental challenges such as madness. Stone (1937) explains that even though the Greek identified and distinguished bipolar disorder, they did not explain its causes (p. 132). In the middle ages, the mental problems were treated through divine approaches; for instance, with the use of holy water which comprised of salt because it was related to spiritual attacks (Stone, 1937). However, understanding bipolar disorder moved from the middle ages to the manic-depressive mental problem in the 1020s. This understanding was upheld until the 19th century when research where bipolar disorder started to be described as a biphasic mental disease (Raskin et al., 1976). According to Raskin et al. (1975), bipolar disorder was caused by recurrent rotations between the mania or mental anguish and depression or melancholia. The German psychiatrists like Emil Kraepelin further advanced the discovery into bipolar disorder in an attempt to describe the causes of bipolar diseases (Youssef et al., 1996). As Eisold (2002) explains, the research development later advanced with the initial diagnostics that provided distinction between the depressions that involves different psychosis states; something that the earlier researchers did not do. According to Rea et al. (2003), the discovery about treating depressive psychosis using lithium carbonate was made in the late 1940s by John Cade who was an Australian psychiatrist.

According to Johnson et al. (1999), the discovery of mood-stabilizing effects of lithium carbonate in 1949 significantly advanced the treatment methods of bipolar disorder especially the pharmacotherapy approaches. Frank et al. (1999) explain that before the discovery of lithium carbonate, bipolar disorder was treated through psychotherapy approach. According to Eisold (2002), Carl Gustav Jung, one of the scientists in the 19th century who distinguished different types of bipolar disorder illustrated the non-psychotic types with various case histories. It is this kind of research that gave rise to the new developments that are used today to explain bipolar disorder. The different classification of bipolar disorder such as DSM-IV, bipolar I, and bipolar II were first described by the 19th century scientists like Carl Jung. However, as Johnson et al. (1999) explain, despite such tremendous advancement in treatment of bipolar disorder, many people still experience poor outcomes. Krupa (1991), depression, which is also referred to as the mood disease, is a treatable illness. However, this does not mean that nothing has been done. Krupa (1991) explains that there are major advancements that have made regarding bipolar disorder, especially when it comes to controlling the depression, the leading causing factor. Cicero et al. (2008) further explain that the understanding behind bipolar disorder has also changed. Unlike the early times when it was understood as a chronic disease, bipolar disorder is understood as a psychological problem which can be prevented before it affects youths (Cicero et al., 2008). Majority of people are still affected by bipolar disorder today despite the treatment approaches discovered. Henin et al. (2007) explain that bipolar disorder is recognized as one of the most severe psychopathological conditions that can afflict children.

Present or Current Controversies

Bipolar disorder study has currently advanced because today, there are different treatments that have been discovered regarding the disease. Even though it is still challenging like many other critical disease, but studies show that the disease is being contained through the different approaches that have been discovered to help treat mental problems as well as depression. Youssef et al. (2015) explain the different methods of treating bipolar disorder including the use of lithium carbonate that is used to treat the depressive psychosis. However, very little has changed since these discoveries., As Walsh et al. (2015), bipolar disorder is today ranked as one of the leading ten diseases that cause disability as well as premature mortality which is associated with suicide or accidental death. This means that despite the discoveries, very little has been done to contain the effects of bipolar disorder today.

Chung et al. (2012) explain that despite the efforts that the medical scientists have made to develop as well as determine the different psychosocial interventions to help the victims of bipolar disorder, there is very little evidence to show the advancement to treatment. Baur et al. (2011) also agree that despite that mental illness has been given more interest in research, but very little studies reference the bipolar disorder. The discovery behind the treatment of bipolar disorder was made early in the 1900s and yet it is still ranked one of the most deadly disease in the world today. Many other scholars conquer with him that great advancement has been made in an attempt to control and contain the effects of bipolar disorder today. Alloy et al. (2011) argue that early interventional approaches is one of the ways to help prevent the cases of bipolar disorder in future; thus, improving long-term prognosis. Some of the approaches used in early intervention include the behavioral approach system which regulates approach objective with the aim of achieving rewards (Alloy et al., 2011). This disease can be prevented at the early stage before it can affect the youths.

As Gruber et al. (2011) explain bipolar disorder is associated with the predisposition for emotional disorder. In other words, people who develop bipolar disorder lack the ability to consider their future emotional state; thus, they are unable to make adaptive decisions (Gruber et al., 2011). Recent studies have tried to determine the cause of bipolar disorder. Muhtadie and Johnson (2015) explain that even though bipolar disorder has been known to be highly inheritable, recent studies have shown that environmental factors also contribute greatly to the problem. The environmental stressors associated with the disorder include the interpersonal conflicts, expressed emotions as well as life events (Muhtadie & Johnson, 2015). According to Leventhal and Zimmerman (2010), bipolar disorder is also caused by smoking and substance use. Holm et al. (2014) explain that life events such as losing a spouse have been found to have a significant correlation with the level of suicide among the adults. Other scholars also explain that these factors have been found to be common on bipolar I and II subtypes (Leventhal & Zimmerman, 2010). In their study, Leventhal and Zimmerman found that depression, which is the key factor associated with bipolar disorder, is associated with the increased rates of substance abuse and dependence (p. 360).Muhtadie and Johnson (2015) also argue that life stress is the major predictor associated with the causes of bipolar disorder. Bipolar disorder is prevalent among the elderly due to high level of stress. According to Holm et al. (2014), the number of people dying out of suicide or stress-related causes continues to rise. The authors argue that about one million people die out of suicide across the world every year (Holm et al., 2014). However, there has been a dramatic increase of suicide in the past recent years among the elderly due to their level of stress (Holm et al., 2014).

Future Development

Despite the challenges that are still associated with the bipolar disorder, the future direction towards its treatment is clear and promising. Muhtadie and Johnson (2015) explain that the present studies have indicated that bipolar disorder can be understood through stress response approach. However, the problem still exists in determining the relationship between the emotional and physiological responses. According to the authors, the main challenge has been associated with the confidence and anxiety threats (Muhtadie & Johnson, 2015). Therefore, if scientists can determine a way to maintain the vascular resistance when the cardiac efficiency is increased, bipolar disorder will be easily treatable (Muhtadie & Johnson, 2015). As Holm et al. (2014) explain the current treatments of bipolar disorder are ineffective; thus, there is need to come up with an effective approach that would help reduce the increasing death rate associated with depression and stress.

In conclusion, present studies show that environmental stressors are mainly associated with bipolar disorder. However, the current treatments have not been able to deal with the problem due to the emotional and physiological challenges associated with the treatment approaches. Bipolar disorder has existed for thousands of years and yet very little has been done to contain its effects. As this literature review has shown, bipolar disorder has been given little attention and yet it claims more lives. Little research reference bipolar disorder and this also contributes to its persistence despite the fact that the main causing fact...

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